Bruins prepare for Pittsburgh, regroup in face of injuries

Bartkowski/By S. Bradley

WILMINGTON, Mass. — The Bruins went through some fast-paced drills with little to no contact at Ristuccia Arena today in preparation for their Saturday matinee with Pittsburgh tomorrow.

Rookie defenseman Matt Bartkowski joined the team in time for the session after he was recalled on an emergency basis from Providence (AHL) to replace Andrew Ference, who did not practice. Head coach Claude Julien classified Ference’s injury as upper-body and declared the veteran “very questionable” for the Penguins game.

•Milan Lucic, who missed the last two games with an undisclosed injury, skated under the watchful eye and serious marching orders of strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides prior to the team’s practice. Julien said it was the first time Lucic skated since he was injured in Pittsburgh Monday, and that Lucic is “questionable” for tomorrow’s game.

•Forward Blake Wheeler nearly joined the injury list during one drill. Daniel Paille chipped the puck from about 2 feet away in what seemed like a harmless play. But Wheeler went down as though a sniper had taken him out and was attended to by the medical staff.

In the dressing room, Wheeler was sporting a slight mark on his abdomen. That didn’t stop linemate and buddy David Krejci from taking some verbal shots at Wheeler for how fast he hit the ice.

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